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Netflix nearly gave us a sequel to a cult classic 2001 movie

This would have been quite something.

Netflix nearly gave us a sequel to a cult classic 2001 movie
Marc Chacksfield
23 April 2024

Writer-director Brian Helgeland has been behind some of the biggest movie hits over the last few years. Starting off penning Nightmare On Elm Street 4, he has gone on to give us the fantastic LA Confidential, Payback and more.

It is perhaps a more family friendly hit that got him the most acclaim, though. A Knight's Tale is a brilliant pastiche of an historical epic, mordernising its medieval tale, which focuses on a peasant squire, who pretends to be a knight, with rock songs and the like.

It was a fun movie when released back in 2001 and helped catapult lead star Heath Ledger to the Hollywood stratosphere. Other stars Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany, Alan Tudyk, Mark Addy and Shannyn Sossamon didn't do too badly from it, either.

Helgeland has been speaking about a potential sequel with Inverse - in what is a fascinating in-depth interview - where he mentions that a sequel was mooted but fell foul of Netflix's quality control. In fact there have been two ideas passed around.

Netflix nearly gave us a sequel to a cult classic 2001 movie
Image Credit: Sony

"When we finished A Knight’s Tale, we were already thinking about making the sequel as a pirate film. The plot revolved around Count Adhemar kidnapping Jocelyn and taking her to Constantinople," says Helgeland.

The second idea is a more recent one that was pitched to Sony, which was set to make it with Netflix.

"Paul Bettany called me after he had dinner with Alan Tudyk, and the guys had an idea that William had passed away during a war. However, William has a teenage daughter who wants to joust, but she’s not allowed to because she’s a woman. She tracks down the gang and they agree to teach her how to joust, but she has to hide who she is. They cut her hair short and she speaks with a deep voice, et cetera."

Unfortunately, it didn't go any further as Helgeland notes: "My understanding is that Netflix tested this sequel idea through their algorithms, which indicated that it would not be successful."

Helgeland does have another script, Button Man, ready and waiting to be made but it looks like that was was also subject to bad timing, due to similar movies being released by Netflix at the time.

"I wrote Button Man, but it’s not being made at the moment. Netflix had The Gray Man and The Killer being released in a relatively close window, so they decided not to make all three at once because they’re kind of similar. It’s still there for them to make if they want," he says.